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Purple Amaranth, Red Amaranth, Prince's Feather, Mexican Grain Amaranth 'Hopi Red Dye'

Amaranthus cruentus

Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Amaranthus (am-uh-RANTH-us) (Info)
Species: cruentus (kroo-EN-tus) (Info)
Cultivar: Hopi Red Dye





Foliage Color:




Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

Flowers are good for drying and preserving

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round

Suitable for growing in containers


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Bloom Color:

Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Fuchsia (Red-Purple)


Scarlet (Dark Red)


Dark Purple/Black

Maroon (Purple-Brown)

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall


Grown for foliage




Good Fall Color

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Madison, Alabama

Fresno, California

Richmond, California

Santa Clara, California

Denver, Colorado

Bridgeport, Connecticut

Wethersfield, Connecticut

Valdosta, Georgia

Honolulu, Hawaii

Itasca, Illinois

Halifax, Massachusetts

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Sidney, Nebraska

Caldwell, New Jersey

Binghamton, New York

Toledo, Ohio

Portland, Oregon

Sweet Home, Oregon

Anton, Texas

Austin, Texas

Manassas, Virginia (2 reports)

Buckley, Washington

Kalama, Washington

North Bend, Washington

Spokane, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 27, 2011, rolltiderusty from Madison, AL wrote:

This plant is very pretty. It is also big. We haven't used it yet, but want to before the growing season is out. We are going to try making cornbread with its food coloring soon. Next year when it is younger we will try its greens. We did not know you could eat them until it was already mature. Does anyone have a little more info on bagging the seed pods? Should I wait until some obvious change in the plant? Is it time to do so yet? I really want to harvest the seed and plant many more of these next year. I might, between the three we have growing, be able to collect enough seeds to make a small loaf of that gluten free bread someone mentioned. This plant is very delicate when first growing but is red in color from the beginning. It seems failry hardy too. This summer has been super hot an... read more


On Jun 22, 2010, garbanzito from Denver, CO (Zone 5a) wrote:

a real crowd pleaser; we've let this reseed randomly in our front yard the past few years; it seems to prefer dry gravel or bare dirt to grow seedlings


On Sep 28, 2009, CherokeeGreg from Fresno, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Great plant ! I did not plant it. The birds must have but thats ok. Its about 8 ft tall it started blooming at the end of September. Very nice plant.


On Jul 3, 2009, lehua_mc from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

*Unbelievable* color, I mean amazing. Dark burgundy with the light hitting it flat, but everything from florescent scarlet to pale tawny pinks run riot with this plant. I have this in a very hot exposed area, and it was grown tall and well behaved in its first few months. If aesthetics are your game, however, know that this plant gets leggier and lankier as it draws all the resources for the flowers. It's a challenge since they form such lovely rosettes of foliage early on, so I'm off to research low, late blooming plants to couple with it.


On Oct 22, 2008, artemiss from Toledo, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

A very impressive plant with large deep purple leaves and seedheads. Our grew with some tithonia in a neglected patch along the drive..and was easily 5'-6' by fall.


On Oct 26, 2007, Just_Grow_It from Manassas, VA wrote:

It's will give you a nice splash of color in your flower garden.
It self re-seeds very easily.


On Feb 6, 2005, NatureWalker from New York & Terrell, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

An annual 4-7 ft. Bright-burgundy, with many branched stems and foliage; stately, erect, scarlet, flower plumes which stand out boldly, fresh or dried. Tolerates drought and most soils. An all purpose plant for flowers, grains, greens, dyes.

Used by the Hopi Indians as a ceremonial food dye to produce red cornbread.
As with all Grain Amaranths; young plants and young leaves make nutritious steamed greens. The immature flower bracts can be used as a flower dye and the edible black seeds can be ground to make a high protein, gluten-free flour.

Sow 8-10 seeds per foot. Plant before last frost or begin indoors, transplanting when growth has reached 4-8 inches. Full sun.